It surfaced on April 17 that a woman in her 60s who served as a lay judge in a burglary and murder case in Fukushima Prefecture suffered a stress disorder after being exposed to evidence that showed a cruel crime scene.

Her sufferings bring home the inadequacy of the judiciary's measures to alleviate possible psychological burdens on lay judges and to provide care to them in case they experience distress. Necessary changes must be made immediately to the way a criminal case is handled in the presence of lay judges.

The woman took part in the six-day proceedings at the Koriyama branch of the Fukushima District Court, dealing with a case in which a married couple in Aizu Misato, Fukushima Prefecture, was stabbed to death in July 2012.